Akumal  draws a number of long-term visitors and has a large number of fully equipped condos and villas, in addition to ordinary hotels. There’s no hostel, but backpackers might be able snag a dorm room at CEA.
Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA, next to Akumal Dive Shop, tel. 984/875-9095, www.ceakumal.org , 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) has several large comfortable dorms—most even have air-conditioning—and a well-outfitted communal kitchen. CEA’s volunteers have priority for the rooms, and they are usually full, but if not, they’re available to walk-ins for US$20 a night (BYO linens). It’s a long shot, but it’s definitely worth asking.
Hotel Akumal Caribe (reception in the arches at the entrance to town, tel. 984/206-3500, toll-free U.S. tel. 800/351-1622, toll-free Can. tel. 800/343-1440, www.hotelakumalcaribe.com , US$89–134 s/d bungalow, US$99–164 s/d room, including breakfast) was the first lodging in Akumal, used by members of a local diving and conservation club. The bungalows are roomy and affordable—and therefore popular with families—though somewhat out-of-date (e.g. old-school air conditioners).
Rooms in the hotel section are more modern, with whitewashed walls, minisplits, refrigerator, and private balcony. Most have ocean views; some have kitchenettes (US$5 extra), while corner rooms have two balconies and a king-size bed (US$15 extra). The main complaint here is the beds, which range from firm to rock hard. The hotel has a well-kept swimming pool and palm-shaded beach area, including a guest-only section. A good restaurant, a pizzeria, and a full-service dive shop are also on-site.
On the eastern end of the beach in town, Las Casitas Akumal (tel. 984/875-9071, toll-free U.S./Can. tel. 800/525-8625, www.lascasitasakumal.com ) has 18 airy condominiums with two bedrooms, two baths, living room, fully equipped kitchen, and private patio. Some have two floors and space for six people; all have ocean views and direct access to a semiprivate section of the beach. High-season rates range US$367–382 per night; rates drop significantly early May–mid-November. Reservations must be made for a minimum of seven nights and begin on a Saturday.
One nice thing about staying in Half Moon Bay—in addition to the beautiful ocean views and great snorkeling—is that you’re within walking distance of the center as well as Laguna Yal-Ku .
Vista del Mar (tel. 984/875-9060, toll-free U.S. tel. 888/425-8625, www.akumalinfo.com , US$90–110 s/d with a/c, US$185–220 condos with a/c) has spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums, plus standard hotel rooms, all overlooking a lovely stretch of beach. The 15 condos have long balconies or porches, fully equipped kitchens, separate living and dining rooms, and master bedrooms with king-size beds. Modern amenities include flat-screen TVs, mini air conditioners, in-room safes, Wi-Fi, and some whirlpool tubs. (And daily maid service, too.) Mexican decor like Talavera tiles, bright hand-woven bedspreads, and tapestries lend the units charm. The 16 oceanfront hotel rooms are smaller but are still comfortable. All accommodations share a well-tended beach with lounge chairs and palapa shades.
Hacienda de la Tortuga (tel. 984/875-9068, www.haciendatortuga.com , US$150 one-bdrm apts, US$200 two-bdrm apts) has just 16 rooms and cultivates a quiet relaxed atmosphere geared toward couples. Roomy one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos all have huge windows overlooking the Caribbean, plus a living room, fully equipped kitchen, king-size bed(s), and air-conditioning in the bedrooms. Each is uniquely decorated, many with fine Mexican artwork and homey touches like a well-stocked bookcase. There’s a small pool just steps from the beach, and a classy Mexican restaurant, La Lunita, that gets good reviews. The family-friendly La Mirage condos next door, which have comparable rates and amenities, also are managed here.
At the north end of Akumal , Que Onda (Caleta Yal-Ku, tel. 984/875-9101, www.queondaakumal.com , US$60–100 s/d, US$125–225 suite) has seven standard rooms, each with tile floors and artful decor, and two suites, including a split-level unit with views of the Caribbean. All face the hotel’s verdant garden, and there’s a small clean pool and popular Italian restaurant on-site. None of the units have air-conditioning; upstairs units enjoy decent sea breezes, but downstairs units can get stuffy. And although it’s close to Half Moon Bay and Laguna Yal-Ku  (where guests get 50 percent off admission), Que Onda is a solid 30-to-40-minute walk from town—probably the biggest drawback. Bicycles (and snorkel gear) are available for rent, and plenty of guests come with rental cars.
Villas DeRosa (tel. 984/875-9020, U.S. tel. 801/619-9050, www.cenotes.com , US$70–120 s/d, US$110–250 one-bdrm condo, US$180–350 two-bdrm, US$200–400 three-bdrm) offers hotel rooms with garden and pool views, and spacious condominiums with ocean views and private balconies. All units have air-conditioning, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and stereos, and condos have fully equipped kitchens as well. The bedrooms can feel a bit dark, but you’re literally steps from a beautiful beach and the blue Caribbean water. The resort boasts a full-service dive shop, with a special emphasis on cenote diving; dive/accommodation packages are available.
Smaller and cozier than the DeRosa, Villa Las Brisas (tel. 984/875-9263, www.aventuras-akumal.com , US$45–85 s/d, US$55–90 studio, US$90–150 one-bedroom condo, US$115–230 two-bedroom condo) has just three units, two of which can be combined to make the two-bedroom condo. All are spacious, spotless, and meticulously furnished, down to a stocked spice rack in the kitchen. The condos have large terraces with hammocks and stunning views; the smaller units have balconies that overlook a tidy garden. With comfortable beds, modern Mexican-style furnishings, and space to stretch out, it’s easy to feel at home here; families welcome. Beach chairs and umbrellas are free, while snorkel gear is available for rent. There’s a simple minimart at the entrance (8 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Sat.), but you’ll have to go to Akumal for additional shopping and services.
The majority of rooms for rent in Akumal are in privately owned homes and condos, especially along Half Moon Bay. Most are managed and rented by one of various property management companies; browse the listings of several agencies to get the best selection. Some reliable agencies include Caribbean Fantasy (www.caribbfan.com , toll-free U.S. tel. 800/523-6618), Akumal Villas (www.akumalvillas.com , U.S. tel. 866/535-1324), Akumal Rentals (www.akumal-rentals.com , no phone), and Loco Gringo (www.locogringo.com , no phone).